“Who are You?”
One of the first things I do when preparing to write a story is to discover who my characters are. I want to know everything about them! Of course, some are stubborn and refuse to share. Others are an open book and tell me all I need to know!
When I wrote Finally A Sweetheart, the characters unveiled themselves pretty quickly. I knew that Felicity Edwards wanted a family, had a heartbreaking backstory, and loved God with all her heart. I picked her brain to find out what prevented her from her goal of having a family (you’ll have to read the story to find out what it is). I knew info about her parents, siblings, friends (my fellow authors shared that info). She told me her likes/dislikes, her strengths and weaknesses. All of this helped me know who she was so that when I told her story, I was merely the person transcribing.
Knowing her personality also helped me find the right inspiration photo that went with the woman taking shape in my mind. Enter: Gugu Mbatha-Raw. She played Belle in the movie of the same title. She seemed to embody everything about my character. I could see the grace that I imagined Felicity had. Could see a little heartache in the eyes. When I saw her photo, it was a simple knowledge that she was Felicity.
Then I moved on to the next character, my hero, Will Davenport. He also told me everything about himself. You don’t know how happy I was that the hero and heroine didn’t make it difficult for me.
Will was an older brother and an owner of his own barbershop. But he’d been burned by love and that made him a little wary. Still, he willingly told me how much of his goals matched Felicity. He just didn’t know if that woman existed. (Cue happy writer) I immediately thought of an actor that also played a barber in the movie Barbershop. I searched for the perfect picture of Michael Ealy. Knowing I cast these two correctly allowed me to jump into writing my novella.
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.
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